Tag Archives: start again

Surviving the Next Month of Holiday Indulgences

Ah, the turkey day is behind us. Now we just have to deal with frenzied shoppers, clogged internet connections, and family. No worries.

I celebrated my 52nd birthday yesterday along with a wonderful slice(s) of pumpkin pie. I held out all of October and November (with on slip) for this delicious family tradition, the pie. If I were stuck on a desert island and I could have 1 dessert it would probably be some form of ice cream, but if you must have cake or pie for a birthday, this is the ONE. I sampled the pecan, but only to confirm my annual favorite.

And I will admit, that after eating a nice slice of pie I felt a bit sick about 20 minutes later. Shock to the system? Too much sugar? I don’t know. I had paced and portioned my turkey and dressing all in order to have room (non-stuffed me) for the pie. It was delicious. It was the best I can remember. And…

I am setting my dessert target on the pumpkin pie, and with that my sugar fiesta is over.

I’m glad thanksgiving is over. I love the food. Love. It. But there are so many traditionally delicious side dishes that it’s very hard not to over eat. I did good this year. And today, Friday (no Black Friday shopping for me) I’m going to do a noon workout at my tennis club. Let’s burn off a bit of that meal, shall we?

I don’t regret my indulgence. In fact, the planning for pie gave me strength to turn down so many other desserts in Oct. and Nov. I simply compared their tastiness with the pie I wanted and it was easy to pass.

This morning I ate the last slice for breakfast. And again, I’m not feeling all that awesome. Interesting. I wonder, as I get further and further from sugar addiction, how sugar may be even more symptomatic as I eat it. Will I become sugar adverse? That might be a great thing.

Today, I give thanks again, that I can jump back on plan. That at 52 I’m still jamming along pretty well, with no major complaints. And I’m looking forward to the same feast in Dec. this year. I am setting my dessert target on the pumpkin pie, and with that my sugar fiesta is over. Now I think I need a nap. Is that the sugar as well?

Take the Next Step,

John McElhenney
@fitbytech

related posts:

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Losing My Voice, Losing the Path for a Minute

On Friday night, one of my front teeth veneers came off. If I were to show you a picture today, of my smile, you’d think I was sporting a hilarious bum costume. And when my son noticed it later in the evening, we laughed heartily. It is a funny look. Sad, but funny.

I knew what I was doing. I was giving myself a moment of relief by eating something sweet.

Of course the experience is not funny at all. I had this same tooth glued back on a few weeks ago for about $350 bucks. And at that time I was informed that this was a temporary fix until I had the money to go after the next restorative solution. Yuk.

And here we are. I’m still struggling to find new work, and I’ve now got a pirate’s smile that’s actually a bit painful. The sharp edges in my mouth are irritating when I talk. I tried the temporary fixative from the CVS, no go. And of course my real dentist doesn’t open until Monday. And that means pain and money. Always at the dentist, like a mantra, pain and money. Oh joy.

But there’s perhaps a deeper message in my accidental dismemberment. The facade and beauty thing is all wrapped up together. I’ve never been very proud of my smile. I work at it a bit, but I’m more comfortable with the sly, toothless, grin, rather than a full toothy smile. But it’s hard to speak without showing your teeth. And if there’s one indicator of economic status, the damaged or missing tooth would have to rank up there at the top of shameful displays.

So what am I to learn from this experience?

I cancelled my hopeful Match.com date for Saturday night. But as I was reviewing her profile it was a bit obvious that she was a stretch. I wanted a relationship, but I shouldn’t really compromise my standards. I was working a bit too hard to imagine her as a potential “match.”

Okay, so I’m taking the message to be a bit more introspective. Slow down a bit in the dating department and feel the feelings associated with being alone. This is part of the inspiration for this blog. Bring the focus back to me and my process. The relationship and dating will follow as I reset myself and my body on a new path.

So I’m not really able to smile at this point. And talking is sort of painful. What does that tell me? STFU.

Getting back to the basics of writing, self-reflection, and personal growth. If there was a message from the loss of my facade it is to tune in deeper to the messages of my body.

I was sad yesterday about my sorry condition. Sure, it was related to the tooth and how I had to alter my plans for recording some singing (missing teeth make strange sounds) and then drop my prospective date that I’d been working towards for a several weeks.

And I noticed my emotional dip and as I was putting a check in the bank I went into the frozen yoghurt shop next door. I knew what I was doing. I was giving myself a moment of relief by eating something sweet.

By paying attention to my experience, savoring the smaller portion, and giving myself a break, I was not breaking my program. My goal is awareness and honest appraisal.

It was the first conscious sugar I had consumed since Monday when I started this blog. And I made a note of my behavior. I knew what I was doing. I was medicating the sadness and frustration with some sugar. I gave myself permission to ease up on the program for a minute. AND I had about a 1/3 of a normal serving. I gave myself a dessert and made sure that I drastically restricted the portion. And just a few peanuts sprinkled on-top of the non-fat vanilla.

And I listened to myself. “It is okay. This is a journey not a contest. And occasionally I need to comfort myself. Today a little yoghurt isn’t going to make a huge difference in my program.”

It was a loss. I was determined a few hours earlier to go the month of October without any conscious sugar consumption. Oh well. This is a reset.

The point is to make changes in lifestyle and consciously becoming aware of the way I use food. By paying attention to my experience, savoring the smaller portion, and giving myself a break, I was not breaking my program. My goal is awareness and honest appraisal.

And this morning, I can reflect and get back on the horse.

“The rest of October without any conscious sugar consumption.”

Stay aware of what’s going on. Be gentle. Don’t beat yourself up. And get back on the horse the next day.

Take the next step,

John McElhenney
@fitbytech

image: happy pirate, lenoid mamchenkov, creative commons usage